Inquiry over drunken behaviour
Airports may face alcohol crackdown
Alcohol sales at airports may be restricted following a number of incidents of drunken behaviour by passengers.
New aviation minister Lord Ahmad is to “look at” the the availability of alcohol and whether passengers should be screened.
The inquiry comes after 442 travellers were held on suspicion of being drunk at an airport or on a plane in the last two years.
A number of airlines have raised concerns with the government about the number of alcohol-related incidents on flights.
One involved a female passenger who punched an Easyjet captain in the face after being ordered to leave an aircraft before take-off from Manchester. The flight to Cyprus was delayed for two hours.
Six men on a stag party were arrested after a mid-air brawl on board a Ryanair flight from Luton to Bratislava, causing the plane to be diverted to Berlin.
Glasgow and Manchester airports have trialled a scheme whereby shops sell alcohol in sealed bags in a bid to reduce problems on flights.
Lord Ahmad said: “It’s important that passengers who board planes are also responsible and have a responsibility to other passengers, and that certainly should be the factor which we bear in mind. If you are a young family travelling on a plane you want to go from point A to B – you don’t want to be disrupted.
“I don’t think we want to kill merriment altogether, but I think it’s important that passengers who board planes are also responsible and have a responsibility to other passengers, and that certainly should be the factor which we bear in mind.”
He went on: “In terms of specific regulations of timings of outlets [which sell alcohol] and how they operate, clearly I want to have a look at that.”
Disruption on board an aircraft is an offence which can lead to a travel ban, fine, or prison sentence.